My Clutter Mantras

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I am in the process of digging out of a mound of clutter. It’s often hard to figure out what to throw away. As I mentioned in my previous post, Facing Clutter,  I’m one of those people who can pick up any item and come up with a minimum of 3 ways to use it. 

I have one thing on my side that really helps. Over the years I’ve compiled a few mantras to push my mind into making a decision. These are just simple statements that I say to myself when have an item in question.  They really help me put things in perspective.

  1. Do you use it? Do you love it? Does it make you money?
    I got this one from organizing guru Julie Morganstern. Many times this is all I need to get rid of something, but I often need more help.

  2. If you got rid of it today and needed it later what is the worst that can happen?
    This came from organizing expert Barbara Hemphill who focuses on organizing papers. I’ll ask myself this question if the first one fails. Usually the worst that can happen is that I have to buy a new one. This has come back to haunt me a few times, but for the most part it doesn’t really matter.

  3. What is the cost of keeping it?
    This is my own mantra and sometimes I go straight to it. The costs I look at are losses in energy, time, space, relationships, creativity, peace of mind, or money. If all of the others fail, then this will usually make things very clear.

If I decide to get rid of it then I place it in the trash can, recycling bin, or a donation box. Going through the process makes this part a lot easier

If I have decided to keep it, then I have the additional task of determining where it goes. I make every effort to keep it out of a box of miscellaneous stuff. At the very least I will put it in a container that is sorted by category.

By the time I get to this point I start to see whether my systems are working for me or failing me. With my mind freed up a bit I can figure out how to improve things. It’s still difficult, but as with most of life, it’s a process.

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One Response to My Clutter Mantras

  1. Cyndi Perkins says:

    Hello Deborah, you may remember me from your tax-preparation phase 🙂 – finally took the time to check out your blog. Good info, nice flow, wonderful job! Am adopting your clutter mantras post-haste. Oh, and if you felt a slight prick, it’s because I’ve pinned you …

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